Friday, October 5, 2007

Walk on the Ocean (Toad the Wet Sprocket)

It is absolutely ridiculous how close I live to the ocean... and how seldom I visit - it's a 30 minute (max!) drive to restorative sanity, and I don't take advantage nearly as often as I'd like/I should.

The beach continues to defy accurate description - it's more than the physical sensations (wind in hair/smell of salty air/feel of bare feet on sand) - it's the metaphorical refueling/renewing/regrouping I consciously undergo as I commemorate the importance of slowing down and relishing the moment.

I oftentimes bring music and a book to get lost... but I also appreciate just sitting and gazing at the horizon... the waves crashing on the shoreline... the counterpoint of birds against a blue or gray sky - I never leave without having a walk along the water, picking up treasures in the form of shells, water-polished stones/seaglass and feathers... and I put them in a special place when I get home to remind myself of time away/no worries/clearing the mind...

I'm long overdue - maybe this weekend?

BOOK: Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

POEM: The Poet's Obligation by Pablo Neruda

To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up

in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell:

to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,

and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion

the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,

the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep

the sea's lamenting in my awareness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water

and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,

wherever they suffer the autumn's castigation,
I may be there with an errant wave,

I may move, passing through windows,
and hearing me, eyes will glance upward

saying, "How can I reach the sea?"
And I shall broadcast, saying nothing,

the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and of quicksand,

a rustling of salt withdrawing,
the grey cry of sea-birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will make their answer to the shuttered heart.

QUOTE: “The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears or the sea.” ~ Isak Dinesen


  1. Susan, I went to the beach last week, on the night of the full moon, at the peak of my own moontime..took along a companion who didn't mind my silence while I sat and dug my toes in the sand and got a bit "lost" in the moment..ahh...I hope you're able to get there this weekend.

  2. Hey, M ~

    Your beach reverie sounds delightful, and I do so hope to experience one for myself - however, I may have to wait until the weekend passes, since you know solitude is an important part of the equation for me...